Villagers in Marble Hall have been forced to share drinking water with animals.
The villagers of Disenyane, Mathokhothele, Lesedi and Gareagopola have been in limbo since the Greater Marble Hall municipality installed pipes to supply water to the villages in 2006.
But, they still have to rely on a dam, also used by animals, to draw water for household use.
Community leader Edward Maibelo said the mayor, Martha Maphanga, has been reluctant to help them after they invited the media to the area last year.
Maphanga told them at several meetings that if they wanted water they should approach the media to provide it, he said.
"Maphanga has actually employed arrogant tactics whenever we ask her about providing water in our area," said Maibelo yesterday.
"As a politician she must know that providing water is one of those essential services leaders must be concerned about."
He said the pipes that were installed two years ago were swept away during the floods in January this year.
"It is of grave concern to the people in our communities that each time we go to fetch water from the dam we find donkeys drinking the same water.
"We have to chase them away before we can get water," he said.
A number of villagers Sowetan spoke to echoed Maibelo's sentiments that Maphanga had become a law unto herself.
They accused her of becoming "big-headed" since her appointment in March 2006.
"Judging by the way Maphanga has behaved since her appointment, we feel it would be better not to have a mayor at all than to have her as a leader.
"She has failed us dismally," said one villager.
Approached for comment, spokesman for the municipality, Jan Phasha, acknowledged there was a serious problem regarding water in the area.
He said, however, that the problem of water was a matter for the Greater Sekhukhune district municipality.
He said he knew nothing about allegations that Maphanga had referred villagers to the media for help.
Municipality spokesman Selby Makgotho said yesterday they would send officials to investigate the problem.